You can’t fight City Hall…if you can’t get to City Hall.

Transportation, Rockaway-Style

I fondly recall the days (circa 1986) when I could travel to Lower Manhattan from my outer borough co-op apartment in Brooklyn’s Kensington section via express bus, and start sharpening pencils at my desk at 25 Broadway in less than ten minutes.  About a decade later, I even remember driving from Rockaway, grabbing a spot in the old Queens Center Municipal Lot, and hopping on the E or F train to Midtown.  Made it to my NBC desk in Rockefeller Center, in less than 40 minutes.  OK, so you could drive pretty fast on Woodhaven Boulevard going in the rush hour direction back in those days. 

Anyway, that municipal lot is much smaller and harder to get into, and the E & F trains just don’t run like they used to, either.  The volume of traffic on Woodhaven seems to be much higher, to boot.  Rockaway is so far from “the city” that these days, you feel privileged if you get there in less than an hour and a half.  If you go outside of rush hour, it can take closer to two hours.  And that’s not fair.  Traveling to Midtown from Newark, New Jersey, by train, takes only twenty minutes.   Trains run all day long on that schedule. 

Transit justice for New York’s orphaned sixth borough (you know, the neighborhoods “way below the Belt”) is long overdue.   And as long and grueling as the commute can be, the proverbial “insult added to injury” is that every resident of Rockaway who has business or social ties off the peninsula has had to budget about an extra $60 a month just for bridge tolls since the end of July.  Ditto for Broad Channelites driving to the peninsula.  Can you say “fed up?”   

A good way to get involved in the fight for transit justice is to show up at the first public meeting of the “Rockaway Task Force” appointed by the Mayor and Rockaway’s City Council members–Eric Ulrich and James Sanders.  The meeting is set for Tuesday, September 7 (you know, the night before the first day of school) at the Knights of Columbus on Beach 90 Street in Rockaway Beach, starting at 7 p.m.

The first public announcement of this meeting appeared in the Friday, September 3 issue of The Wave, just before a holiday weekend, so only a cockeyed optimist would expect a huge turnout.  It may be short notice, but get those backpacks and lunches ready for your little ones, tuck them into bed, and head out to the meeting on Tuesday evening…At least it’s easier than getting to city hall.

Public Meeting of Rockaway Task Force–Tues. Sept. 7– 7-9 p.m.–Knights of Columbus–333 Beach 90 Street– Rockaway Beach NY  11693


About rockviv

You've entered the cyber-locale of Vivian Rattay Carter, a writer, teacher, advertising representative, and licensed sightseeing guide. I've lived and worked in the New York metro area since 1979, in diverse places like Astoria and Rockaway Beach (Queens), Kensington and Windsor Terrace (Brooklyn), Grand Street and Tribeca (Manhattan), and Norwood, Riverdale and Woodlawn (The Bronx). I treasure the amazing parks, civic architecture, and cultural institutions of our city, and love the inspiring stories of the outer borough pioneers. What an interesting apple this is!
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8 Responses to You can’t fight City Hall…if you can’t get to City Hall.

  1. Rebekkah says:

    Thanks for the heads-up. As a community, we need to remind each other of these political events that influence our daily experiences and living in the Rockaway’s.

  2. Marty says:

    Good luck with the blog.

  3. miriam says:

    Well, this isn’t new for Rockaway. Back in the 70s, when I was working in the city, we were still being double charged to ride the subways. You wanted to get out of the subway station after getting off the train in Rockaway, just put another token in the turnstyle. It wasn’t happening any other place but here. Same old. Except now, instead of tokens its bridge tolls. Nice work Rockviv.

    • rockviv says:

      Thanks for the info. I moved to NYC in 1979. People tell me how tough it was to live here when the city was broke in the mid-70’s, and there was no help to be had. I’ve heard about that tabloid headline: “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” Just curious if you remember what year the double-fare zone ended.

  4. Kelly says:

    Hey! Love the blog! I’ll be dropping by often.

  5. Pingback: Oy Vey Rockaway Stats–2010 in review | Oy Vey Rockaway

  6. Julie H. says:

    Very late with this comment but just in case anyone is still interested.
    Double fare ended 1975

    • rockviv says:

      I’m so sorry I didn’t get to reply to you sooner. Thanks for reading my blog and for providing this fact about the double fare zone. Let’s hope the MTA gets that trestle over the bay rebuilt quicker than they did in the 1950’s (it took 6 years!).

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